Protected: Jon in a Box (Working Title) Draft 02
Protected: Jon in a Box (Working title) Draft 01
Alter Ego – The Purpose of Art
Having not actually filmed much and also adopting the Werner Herzog philosophy of having a broad idea of what I wanted to shoot and going to the locations to let the shots present themselves, in place of having a storyboard, I took quite a number of shots.
Coincidences always happen if you keep your mind open, while storyboards remain the instruments of cowards who do not trust in their own imagination and who are slaves of a matrix. If you get used to planning your shots based on aesthetics, you are never far from kitsch.
Coincidentally, Sabina is against kitsch too. (More on that in the previous post)
I used the movie “Before Sunrise” as a point of reference for this film; opting not to be influenced by the movie adaptation of The Unbearable Lightness of Being.
Before Sunrise is one of those films that had a profound impact on me as a teen. I still go back to it to learn about filmmaking. One of the many moments that I remembered from the film was the ending where we see wide shots of places where the two protagonists had been throughout the night. Because we’ve been through the journey with them, there is a feeling of, perhaps, nostalgia. I can’t quite pinpoint the feeling with words. Maybe it is the feeling that these places have a magical hold on us. They are just places to everyone else, but these places are memories to us. Yes. That is what I am trying to achieve; or at least just a fraction of.
The difference is I am jumping straight to the epilogue and expecting the audience to fill in the blanks themselves. This will either show my confidence or failure as a storyteller.
After my research, I had to come with a story for what would be shown in the 1 minute of film. Keeping in line with the character not having friends, I went out on my own on Chinese New Year to film the places I used to hang out with friends. The story is an epilogue. Imagine a person having gone through so many relationships and now has no one. This person is reflecting on his decisions.
I made my way to Pasir Ris and started with the nearest place, Coral Secondary School.
And found that they had already slapped a new name on top of the body and essence that was my school.
But I digress.
I walked the route from school that I normally took to get to the basketball court below a friend’s house.
Next I went over to Loyang point and Street 21 where my primary school was, and still is, located.
After all that I walked back to the MRT station and ended off the day’s shoot with the area near my house.
The next day, I went to more crowded places for variety before heading back to school.
The feel I was going for was somber and I know that it will turn out coming off as some prick with a stick up his butt- BUT I wanted to try taking something seriously for once. I always talk about how philosophy seems pointless because there is no answer. That is because I can never bring myself to make a stand. I am trying to make a stand and because I am, I have to question myself endlessly.
With that in mind I ask myself, “Who do I make art for?”
A lot of times I don’t want to answer the question because an answer might define me and I am supposed to be “light”.
The next couple of shots are pick up shots that I hold no feelings or memories of, but I took them anyway because they evoked an emotion that I wanted to convey.
What is the purpose of my art?
To entertain? To express? To communicate?
Mr. Hercules | Final
My Kong Kong is Mr. Hercules.
Landscape of You 06
After consulting friends, I have crafted the next draft.
First of all, I tried to place the titles with the shot instead of on a black screen. I am considering removing the titles either at the front or the end.
Next, I cleaned up the editing just a little to make the jump cuts a little smoother. Although the jump cuts are jarring, it still has flow.
I changed the font of the thank you to be “handwritten”. This feels more personal. I might try actually handwriting the text out.
I played with the use of black screen to give off the feel of quiet. It flows better, in my opinion. I am still hesitant about using the black screen as it, technically, does not add anything. It does, however, gives the audience time to breathe.
Hopefully this will be the 2nd last draft. Sorry for posting so much.
Landscape of You 05
Because once I start, it’s hard to stop.
This is one version of the picture scene.
This is another version with a different picture scene as well as a different ending.
Landscape of You 04
As promised, the first two draft.
Just a few minor differences in the middle. I personally prefer the second one.
Overall, after watching the two films without sound, I realise that it feels choppy. I might try another edit to see how it will fit. Maybe a one take shot is all it takes. It is hard to find the right audio element to compliment the visuals.
To be continued.
This past week, we watched Grizzly Man by Werner Herzog.
I had already watched this once, but I had yet to watch it in greater depth.
I liked the director’s use of holding the shot much longer than it was intended. It felt starkly real and human.
Of course, the footages of bears are interesting in itself, but the real story is actually about the Grizzly Man, Timothy Treadwell.
It was quite interesting how the story was structured. Herzog would provide commentary ever so often throughout the film. I feel this acknowledges the fact that this is the opinion of a person and not trying to set the entire film up as something to be digested and accepted to be as truth. Herzog wants us to form an opinion of our own. This was quite powerful for me. Most times, we have to take a step back in order to realise that documentaries have their own agenda.
It got dry at some parts but as a whole, the film was intriguing, even on 2nd viewing.
Next up, The Act of Killing!